I learned a new term in the past couple of weeks — “legislative creep.” It was invented by Utah Senator Chris Buttars, when he warned that anti-discrimination and hate crime laws would catalyze a “creep” toward gay marriage.
‘Legislative creep’ reminds me of another fundamentalist favorite, the “slippery slope.” Both phrases evoke images of morality going downhill, or creeping along like an evil snake, ready to tempt the innocent into sodomy and universal health care. These rhetorical nuggets of gold suggest that compromise must be made stubbornly, solemnly or unwillingly, if at all. Why? Because legislators like Buttars don’t see these politics as a flat spectrum, they see a moral/economic mountain where they are on the high ground, and only policies of filth lay below it.
This is why the upstanding moral citizens of our country must not compromise: if they give in too much, the bottom feeders might pull the Buttars’ of the world down into the filthy cesspool of socialism and equal rights. They are clinging mercilessly to their economic and moral idealism that they claim as high ground. You talk about creeping legislation and slippery slopes? I guess we’re a bunch of well-lubricated snakes and spiders.
If compromise weren’t such a threat to their ideology, we might have found some common ground by now. But some Christian groups are vehemently against the hate crimes law that was passed because it would “threaten the free speech” of church leaders. In other words, Church leaders who tell their church to “kill homosexuals” will be prosecuted for inciting violence. Even though this violent-crime-reducing measure says nothing about reducing free speech, groups like Focus on the Family invent situations where innocent pastors are arrested for hate speech.
Even though the law that is explicitly designed to punish people who commit or incite violent crime, someone just has to oppose it. Why would anybody be against a law that makes throwing a brick through the window of a Jewish family more serious than a mere count of vandalism? Why would anyone be against laws that condemn violent crime and a culture of fear? Because hate crime laws equals gay marriage. Can’t you see the legislative creep?
Remember that the “slippery slope” argument tells us gay marriage isn’t at the bottom of the valley: gay marriage is just the gateway drug into pedophilia, incest, and an arranged union with my cat. What we fear is the dark, unknown bottom of that moral/cultural valley – what I’m sure a few fundies would consider the “end times.” If we step into that ideology for just a moment, we can see how every step humanity takes down this (constructed) moral hierarchy leads us one step closer to the end. It doesn’t matter that only 50 years ago, America began to accept divorce, interracial marriage and birth control – this is the straw that will break the camel’s back.
Do you ever wonder why your anyone would be so against your gay marriage? Well, you guessed right: it’s the “creep” factor.